Achieving the right amount of humidity in your home might be tough. At different times of the year, based on how damp or dry the air feels, you might have to decide between a humidifier vs dehumidifier.
However, in serious situations, air that’s overly damp or very dry could lead to issues like coughing, feeling out of breath, and tiredness. It could even worsen problems like allergies and asthma by drying up your breathing passages.
So, here are two ways to fix the problem of air that’s either too dry or too damp:
- If the air is too dry, a humidifier can help. It puts extra dampness into the air.
- If the air is too damp, a dehumidifier is the solution. It takes away the extra dampness in the air.
Let’s explore how these machines do their job, how they can improve your health when used indoors, and how they compare to air purifiers.
What’s the difference between a humidifier and a dehumidifier?
When the air around you gets too dry, humidifiers step in and add some moisture. They’re quite handy in the winter, when the air can feel very dry. On the other hand, when things get too damp, a dehumidifier comes to the rescue. These machines are helpful in the spring and summer. People often use dehumidifiers to tackle allergies that come with the seasons and to get rid of that uncomfortable, stuffy sensation that high humidity can bring to a house.
Dehumidifier vs humidifier: Which should you buy?
In many houses, the humidity stays around 30% to 50%. If your place has more than 50% humidity, you should go for a dehumidifier. But if it’s below 30%, you need a humidifier.
To find out the humidity in your home, just grab a hygrometer. You can get one for less than $20 at a store where they sell things for improving homes.
What does each do?
When choosing between a dehumidifier or humidifier, it’s best you understand what each device can do. Below is a short guide for each:
There are two main kinds: cool-mist ones and warm-mist ones, also known as steam vaporizers. Both of them add moisture to the air just as well. There’s no real advantage to picking one over the other, except for what you personally like.
However, the way they make the moisture might help you decide which to choose. Let me break down how some common cool-mist humidifiers work:
- Impeller: There’s a plate that shakes super fast to make water turn into tiny droplets. These droplets come out of the humidifier and mix with the air in your room.
- Ultrasonic: A spinning disc in water creates super small water droplets that look like steam. These droplets come out of the humidifier and mix with your room’s air.
- Evaporators: This one uses a fan to blow air through something wet, like a belt or a filter. This wet thing adds moisture to the air as the fan blows air over it.
In simple words, cool-mist humidifiers change water into really tiny pieces that mix with the air in your room. The water starts out cold and stays cold, so they can even help cool your room.
Now, let’s talk about steam vaporizers in general:
- Power Source: The humidifier plugs into the wall to get power.
- Heating Up: The electricity heats up water until it starts boiling.
- Steam Creation: The boiling water makes steam. This steam cools down before coming out of the humidifier. You can breathe in this steam through an opening or a tube.
These steam vaporizers can also work with special things like inhalants or essential oils. These might be useful if you have allergies or asthma.
These machines take away moisture from the air and help keep the air inside your place not too damp. A regular dehumidifier can make the humidity in your indoor air more comfy, around 30 to 50 percent.
Here’s how a typical dehumidifier gets the job done:
- Air Suction: The dehumidifier pulls in warm air with the help of a fan. This air goes into metal coils that get colder.
- Cooling Down: A special liquid that cools things down is used to chill these metal coils. Remember how things shrink when they’re cold? Well, hot air becomes smaller when it gets cold, and this causes tiny water droplets to come out of the air.
- Water Collection: As the air cools, the water droplets turn into water that you can see, like when you see water on the outside of a cold glass. This water is collected in a tank outside the dehumidifier.
- Dry Air Release: The air that’s been cooled down and had its moisture taken out is pushed back into your indoor space through a tube. This tube is powered by a fan.
How humidity affects your home
Let’s consider how your home feels to figure out the right solution for you. If you often have dry, itchy eyes, dry skin, or chapped lips, you should go for a humidifier. But if you notice wet spots on the ceilings or walls, or if rooms feel kind of muggy, then a dehumidifier is the way to go.
When the air is really dry, it can create cracks in things like wooden beams, plaster, and leather furniture. In this situation, a humidifier can be a big help. On the flip side, if there’s way too much moisture in your home, it might cause mold to start growing on walls and ceilings. That’s not good for your health at all. To prevent this, you need a dehumidifier.
Humidifier or dehumidifier: The choice is yours
Now you have a better grasp on the choices you can make to balance your home’s humidity. Remember, if you’re facing dry discomforts like itchy eyes, skin, or chapped lips, a humidifier can bring relief. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with damp issues like wet spots or stuffy rooms, a dehumidifier is the solution.
Your home’s comfort and health are in your hands. Don’t let dryness or excess moisture get in the way. Choose the right device for your space and make your surroundings a haven of balanced humidity. Take action now to ensure the best indoor environment for you and your loved ones.